Health - Consumer Protection
2:44 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

Missouri To Receive Close To $700,000 As Part Of Nationwide Kidney Drug Settlement

Missouri will receive $693,000 as part of a nationwide settlement over the kidney transplant drug, Rapamune.

Neighboring Illinois will get more than $1.3 million.

The drug sirolimus, marketed by Pfizer subsidiary Wyeth under the brand name Rapamune, is only FDA approved for use after kidney transplants to prevent organ rejection.
The drug sirolimus, marketed by Pfizer subsidiary Wyeth under the brand name Rapamune, is only FDA approved for use after kidney transplants to prevent organ rejection.
Credit U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health

The drug company Pfizer, whose subsidiary Wyeth makes Rapamune, has agreed to pay out a total of $35 million to 41 U.S. states and the District of Columbia as part of the settlement.

The agreement addresses claims that Wyeth illegally marketed Rapamune to doctors and hospitals, encouraging them to prescribe it for off-label uses.

The drug is only FDA approved for use after kidney transplants to prevent organ rejection.

Last year, in a related Rapamune marketing case, Missouri received about $1.5 million to compensate for losses incurred by the state’s Medicaid program.

According to the Missouri Attorney General’s office, the new funds will be used to cover the cost of investigating and litigating the recent case. They will also be put toward future enforcement of consumer protection laws, as well as consumer education and advocacy programs.

In a statement, Pfizer said it bought Wyeth in 2009 and that the conduct at issue happened before that.

Neither Pfizer nor Wyeth admitted to any wrongdoing or liability as part of the agreement.

Follow Véronique LaCapra on Twitter: @KWMUScience